Regulatory Remediation Timeframes Update
August 6, 2012
For the first time in New Jersey, parties remediating contaminated sites have an express, affirmative obligation to meet mandatory deadlines for completing remedial investigations and remedial actions. On May 7, 2012 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) adopted “Final Rules” implementing the regulatory amendments envisioned after the passage of the Site Remediation Reform Act, and amendments to the Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”), N.J.S.A. 13:1K-6 et seq., the Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”), N.J.S.A. 58:23-11 et seq., the Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act (“UST Act”), N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1 et seq., and the Brownfield and Contaminated Site Remediation Act (“BCSRA”), N.J.S.A. 58:10B-1 et seq. found within P.L. 2009, c. 60. See 44 N.J.R. 1339(b), May 7, 2009. The Final Rules contain an expansion of Mandatory and Regulatory remediation timeframes contained in the prior versions of the “interim” rules.
The Final Rules also create new obligations for some sites that have previously received No Further Action (“NFA”) letters from the DEP. For example, at sites where a limited restricted use or restricted use NFA letter was issued and the DEP has not yet issued a remedial action permit, i.e. some sites where a deed notice or groundwater classification exception area was established during the remediation, the person responsible for conducting the remediation must submit a Remedial Action Permit application within two years after the last biennial certification is due, but not later than May 7, 2014. N.J.A.C. 7:26C-7.6(a).
The Mandatory and Regulatory Timeframes vary depending on the site and whether the remediation was triggered pursuant to the ISRA, the Spill Act, the UST Act or the BCSRA. In many instances the Mandatory Timeframes for completing a remedial investigation or remedial action and submitting related reports to the DEP are two years after the expiration of the Regulatory Timeframes. For some sites, this mandatory deadline may be as early as March 1, 2017. Extensions to these Timeframes are possible in limited circumstances.
Additionally, for any site where a remediation was required to be initiated before May 7, 1999, the Site Remediation Reform Act imposes a Statutory deadline to complete a remedial investigation and submit a remedial investigation report by May 7, 2014. N.J.S.A. 58:10C-27a(3). This deadline may not be extended by the DEP.
Please contact the Law Office of Howard Davis, P.C. for additional information pertinent to the remediation of your site under the new regulations.